Slavs and Tatars

The The Servant Servant of of the the All-Forgiving All-Forgiving

Slavs and Tatars inhabit, navigate, and examine the region to the east of the Berlin Wall and to the west
of the Great Wall of China, the region where Europe and Asia merge. They translate historical stories about the region into intimate, playful but critical exhibitions, books, and lecture-performances.

In recent years, the hangover of modernity has begun to wear off; and with it the moss, grass, and other Enlightenment overgrowth that has obscured the secret forest churches found across the Silesian Beskid mountain range in southern Poland and eastern Czechia. Dating primarily from the Counter-Reformation (1654-1709), these clandestine spaces of worship welcomed Lutheran congregants in primarily Catholic lands for whom the Thirty Year War was a not-so-distant memory. Nestled in remote places, a significant distance from any foot-path, these open-air congregations speak once again with particular resonance to today’s “secular rage to know all and possess all,” to quote Charles de Foucauld. The particular targets of this rage might have shifted but its tenor and practice is not to be mistaken. Slavs and Tatars’ practice often looks to the tenet of Abrahamic hospitality as an urgent building block of dialogue, as much with ourselves as with another not to mention our own other. 

For the 11th edition of Sonsbeek, The The Servant Servant of of the the All- All- forgiving forgiving aims to reactivate such a space of contemplation and dialogue within Sonsbeek park, as a sacred antidote, if you will, to the activity of the city. In the 17th century, as in the early 21st, matters of faith remain contested: for its incendiary issues of identity if not its insolubility within politics. Instead of a reductive dismissal of faith and religiosity as necessarily regressive or the domain of others, does not our current moment ask instead for a rescue, resuscitation and engagement with its progressive potential?

Slavs and Tatars